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YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 3,806
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Thanks to China's heavy industry, eBay is awash with just about every industrial control component you could desire. OK, not always the best quality, but fine for personal projects. This is an E-stop button (Emergency stop) that has a large mushroom head to whack in the event of emergency and then latches in. They are normally wired in series with the control circuit to kill power to most of a machines components. I bought this one just to see what sort of quality it was. And visually it looks...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 3,827
favorite 0
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You can now buy me cake and things to take apart at:- https://www.patreon.com/bigclive To make the power supply blow up in such a dramatic manner I only needed to put three 4700 ohm quarter watt carbon film resistors in parallel across the mains pins. It was a genuine electrical explosion at 240V that took out a 13A fuse. I used three resistors for more effect and smoke. I left the lid unscrewed so it would fly off when it went bang.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 3,064
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This turned into more of a shred-down than a teardown. Getting the lamp apart took so long that I had to stop recording and start again once it was in bits. Duracell is really just a generic brand now, and I've seen other similar lamps with different brands on them so I'd guess that most of the lamps are coming from a single manufacturer. The front lens pops off to reveal a dimpled aluminium reflector with an LED assembly consisting of 8 x 1/2W LEDs on an aluminium core PCB screwed into the...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 3,047
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I've decided that adding an electrolytic capacitor where it's shown is not ideal, since in the event of it failing short circuit it would result in the two mains incoming resistors getting overloaded. The circuit is fine without it anyway. I've not actually had an electrolytic fail like this, but I prefer a pessimistic approach to avoid any risks. It's quite fun to convert a string of old style tungsten push in Christmas lights (fairy lights) to LED, since it means you can swap LEDs and have...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,960
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I got these lights because they are an interesting style of LED with the usual concave lens, but diffused. Sadly, they use polarity switching to "chase" the LEDs. And this makes it hard to bypass.
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 3,064
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comment 0
If you've got a Luminara electronic candle with the original batteries that came pre-fitted, then I strongly recommend you remove and replace them with alkaline D-cells immediately. The ones supplied are cheap low-capacity zinc chloride batteries and will probably leak after a period of use, and that could damage your candle beyond repair. Shame. Great candle supplied with disappointingly inappropriate batteries for such an expensive product. They'd actually be better not supplying any...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,973
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These little dehumidifiers are widely available under several brand names and with wildly varying prices for the exact same units. They are usually described as 300ml or 500ml dehumidifiers although that does not in any way relate to their daily extraction performance. In short these work for very small spaces, but are not as efficient as traditional compressor or desiccant drum dehumidifiers. If you buy one to keep a room dry you may be disappointed, but for a small portacabin or camper they...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,992
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Teardown of a small 60 LED mains powered lamp purchased off ebay. These lamps are very hackable to swap in lower value capacitors to reduce the LED current and make the lamps last a LOT longer.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,083
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I wanted to see how low the price and quality could go with the strings of LED lights, so I ordered the cheapest set in ebay. For a start they are actually tungsten lamps and not LED, and sadly they shimmer horribly due to the use of a single diode as a rectifier. This set was full of "surprises".
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,116
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This little plug-in ozone generator is useful but quite noisy. It uses a corona discharge in a ceramic tube with air being blown through it, to produce a modest flow of ozone into the surrounding area. The corona generation itself is quite noticeable as a continuous high frequency hiss, but that is dwarfed by the crappy fan that makes all the noises you'd associate with a fan with worn bearings. The circuitry inside is split into two distinct sections. A well designed 12V switchmode power...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 15, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,098
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While using this adaptor to check out the little Chinese air pump, I randomly checked it's earth continuity. There was none... So off comes the cover. You can support this channel at https://www.patreon.com/bigclive These things are awesome. They offer so many ways to electrocute yourself that it's almost like a game. I really need to make a full video featuring all the variants of these and ways you can ruin your day with them.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,282
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This is a fairly cheap automatic fish feeder bought on ebay. It has a detachable drum that is filled with fish food and you set a switch at the back for either 12 hour or 24 hour cycles. When it is time to dispense the fish food the drum rotates a single turn. As it turns some of the food falls into an adjustable port at the side of the drum and is then dumped into the water. Standby current is about 0.25mA (250uA) which should give a good battery life. The plastic gears are very noisy when it...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,107
favorite 0
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Ripping apart another style of LED GU10 lamp for our amusement.
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,051
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comment 0
Toilet paper or toilet tissue as it's sometimes known is very useful for cleaning stuff and wiping away oil, glue, pastes and solvents. I tend to keep a roll in my workshop, but any attempt to get some off the roll single handedly usually results in the roll going into orbit, leaving a trail of paper behind it. This is a neat solution that is effectively a miniature version of the centre feed blue-wipe dispensers found in garages and workshops. The main difference being that the smaller sheets...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,194
favorite 0
comment 0
On the basis that I've taken most technical things from Poundland apart, it only seemed logical to make sure every avenue was covered by doing a "teardown" on their cheap pink plastic vibrator. Or should that be "personal massager".
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,143
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I was sent these two lights to take apart and see if I could find what had gone wrong. They are 10W LED floodlights with a very slim profile due to the use of a large array of half watt SMD LEDs on a PCB with their mains power supply. If you like my videos you can support the channel with a dollar for coffee and cookies at https://www.patreon.com/bigclive
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,061
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You can drop a dollar into my hopper at https://www.patreon.com/bigclive This video involves my attempt to work out the wiring of an old Asahi Seiko coin payout hopper mechanism as used in gaming equipment. The manufacturers website does not have a datasheet for it, and it appears to have been superseded by a newer variant.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,013
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This is a bit of an oddity. It's a single 18650 USB power bank that is themed on a banana, and I bought it to see how well they had managed to incorporate the holder for the cell into the curved body. It turns out that the holder is actually big enough to accommodate a protected cell. But it turned out to be more interesting than that, since it uses a different style of power bank charge/boost chip than normal. It's also very comfortable to hold in a pistol-grip style if using with a USB...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,104
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comment 1
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Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 2,057
favorite 0
comment 0
When you get past all the commercial hype and branding of most common liqueurs you find that they are all basically the same thing. A mixture of water, ethanol, sugar, flavouring and colour. For some higher profile brands they use natural herb extracts for the flavouring (if you actually believe the marketing). It's easy to make your own base, unflavoured and uncoloured liqueur and then add the flavours of your choice. This means you can have a bottle of the base mix and then make up a single...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,259
favorite 0
comment 0
While ebay has some very low quality Chinese stuff on it, this little LED night light really takes the biscuit. It's visually unpleasant and has such hideously underrated components that it's only fit for the bin. The circuitry is the most minimalist capacitive dropper possible, with a 100nF cap (with 820K discharge resistor in parallel) in series with three LEDs wired as a single LED and a pair in inverse parallel so it alternates between one LED and two on each half wave of the mains cycle,...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,273
favorite 0
comment 0
I noticed that most of the reviews of the Cubot P6 phone on YouTube are just adverts for the sellers, so here's one from an actual user who has had the phone for a while. In short, the massive market for Android phones in China has meant they are being mass produced, so the cost of a generic unbranded phone has fallen dramatically. The Cubot P6 is what an Android phone should be. Slick and functional. It use a common Mediatek 1.2GHz dual core processor and completely blows away my old Motorola...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,290
favorite 0
comment 0
A thorough look at the assembly of the generic Chinese soldering irons often supplied with thermally controlled soldering stations. These are a very refined design with lots of neat features in the assembly. Whole soldering irons or their various components like heating elements and bits can be bought at staggeringly low prices online. It's a bit galling that for the cost of one pack of spare bits for my older style mains Antex iron I can buy 30 or more replacement bits in a wider range of...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,291
favorite 0
comment 0
Having seen Julian Ilett dismember a larger version of the lithium battery pack used with the Ryobi one-plus power tool range, I decided to have a look inside one of my own. Especially when I'd just bought a cordless circular saw and wanted to see how the battery pack could handle the power requirements of a fairly high current tool. It's worth noting that the cordless circular saw is designed for simple cuts of sheet wood and not for full-on continuous industrial use. Inside is a surprisingly...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,271
favorite 0
comment 0
An LED lamp with seven 5050 LEDs each containing three chips with warm-white phosphor. The power supply is the simplest capacitive dropper possible. I changed the original capacitor for a much lower value of 100nF to make the lamp work as a low level ambient or nightlight. The greatly reduced current through the LEDs will extend their life considerably. I did a project about this on my website at http://www.bigclive.com/ledlmp.htm
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,303
favorite 0
comment 0
I like these pens a lot, but the thick line they lay down tends to make them get through ink quite quickly. Fortunately it's easy to refill them with standard inkjet printer style ink. I've made a video covering the refilling with a slightly more complex method, but this one is MUCH faster and easier.
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,235
favorite 0
comment 0
This video was filmed in bad lighting on a "selfie" camera, so I apologise for the poorer quality. (Which has the advantage of uploading extremely quickly.) I also apologise for my ugliness and randomly missing teeth. The usual two glycols used in e-cigarette fluid or e-shisha type devices are propylene glycol which gives a "throat hit" (unpleasant burning sensation favoured by smokers of traditional cigarettes) and glycerine which gives a very smooth and thick vapour with...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,236
favorite 0
comment 0
What can I say, a sudden solar modification was made.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,226
favorite 0
comment 0
I added this kit to an order for fun. It was vaguely described as being a kit for making a digital clock.
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,215
favorite 0
comment 0
Test of self contained large button and buzzer for kids game show. (Button is the same one as used in The Voice.) Inside has been built to be very rugged to protect against transit damage. Uses 8 AA cells in two internal battery packs. Buzzer is mounted flush with base to conceal it, but still make it very audible.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 33
favorite 0
comment 0
I have a small table light next to my bed which I had a 7W compact fluorescent lamp in. The dark nights and colder house at this time of year meant it was taking a long time to come up to full brightness. I spontaneously swapped it for the first LED lamp that came to hand and was surprised at the brightness. So I did some lux tests, firstly with the CFL after it had plenty of time (over an hour) to come up to full intensity. The results are clearly in favour of the LED with the light spread...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,218
favorite 0
comment 0
Dual cold cathode inverters are quite commonly used for driving decorative tubes in PC cases, arcade games and cars. They split the current form a single secondary winding to two tubes using series capacitors. If you just want to drive a single neon tube then you can rewire the inverter internally to give a single higher current output.
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 1,235
favorite 0
comment 0
A very ill advised mystery object. Do not make one of these. This device is only compliant with rednecks and blue-collar bears. For reference, a 2kW heating element in the UK (240v) can be used as a very high power 30 ohm resistor, and likewise, spiral cooker elements also make great industrial resistors too.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 27
favorite 0
comment 0
Some people love garlic and some people hate it. With this simple technique you can convert an ordinary candle into a garlic scented one instantly. What better way to do a scientific garlic tolerance experiment at a party. Garlic oil is easiest to find in health food shops in the form of gel capsules. I got mine at Holland and Barrett, but even dollar store type shops sell them, and often at the same strength. Ignore the 1000mg bit of Holland and Barretts packaging. In the small print on the...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 34
favorite 0
comment 0
I recently bought a disposable fruit flavoured e-shisha from ebay then promptly bought another so I could puff one to death and then dissect it. For the uninitiated, e-shisha is the new trendy name for the classic e-cig / electronic cigarette. By making them available without nicotine in the vaporising liquid and giving them fruity themes they are kinda making them more acceptable than the traditional nicotine version. These devices contain a battery (usually rechargeable), control circuit,...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 145
favorite 0
comment 0
I get the feeling that the ebay seller listing these had just copied chunks of text from a listing for the small clear underwater LED candles. Despite the listing it isn't the slightest bit waterproof, and doesn't actually even flicker. Other than that it's actually quite well made. It uses two decent sized AAA cells, has a novel switching method where you just press the flame down to turn it on and off, and the complete lack of flickering of the very evenly lit plastic flame is actually a good...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 72
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This started off as a test to see if the re-purposed lithium phone cell in a solar charged LED lamp did have built-in overcharge protection. It then evolved into a lithium cell capacity test with an improvised USB charge hack. By request, here's a link to the ebay listing for this lamp. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/351467607543
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 71
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This was another random purchase just out of curiosity. It's clearly a housing designed for a bi-pin LED lamp, but is supplied without a driver, the pins or the actual LED chip (just a bare star PCB). The empty pin holes allow the direct insertion of wires to the housing, meaning it could be used as a custom pendant style LED light. The video ends a bit abruptly to spare your ears, since I managed to knock the iPad off its shelf while "hanging" the light from its wires. I used a...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 72
favorite 0
comment 0
I was using this piece of breadboard for choosing component values for a simple circuit. I'd bought it some time back from a typical Chinese ebay seller. While testing the circuit I just couldn't get it to work. I double and triple checked all the connections and swapped components, but it still didn't work. It was only when I actually started metering it out that I discovered that the breadboard does not have continuous bus strips at the top and bottom. Instead they are divided into three...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 99
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comment 0
Not actually a condom, but an inflated dome used to protect moving lights used outdoors at events and theatrical productions. This was a silly little stunt to see if it would deflate in a controlled manner when I flopped onto it, but the Velcro band at the base detached from the matching Velcro strip with a pop, resulting in a slightly predictable faceplant.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 82
favorite 0
comment 0
I bought a set of tripod mounted softbox lights as used in photography and filming. These are portable lights that put out a large area of diffused light to provide even illumination. This set came with no assembly instructions at all and a quick check on youtube found some useful info but not quite matching my set. So I made the first one up and made a video of the assembly of the second one in case anyone else is looking for a suitable guide to building them up. The lights consist of a lamp...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 119
favorite 2
comment 0
Close up of a confetti lamp showing the interaction between the floating confetti pieces. Find out how to make this simple lamp at www.bigclive.com . Sorry about the flicker, my camera had issues with being pointed at the light-source even though it was lit by tungsten.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 30
favorite 0
comment 0
I saw this "OPEN" sign in an asian outlet and couldn't resist buying one to take to bits. Notable badness is the mini UK square pin plug that has a sleeved earth pin and no fuse. The capacitor in the capacitive dropper is a 1uF 400V one. I do like the construction, since it looks very good from the outside.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 75
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Well this turned out bad! I spent a lot of time deliberating on what sort of lights to get for my workbench that would provide good working light and also work well with a camera. I chose two 20W cold white floodlights for the intensity and the high colour temperature. The lights arrived and I decided to do a video showing the insides and it all went wrong from there. These "20W" lights contain a 10W power supply and the LED array looks like it has smaller chips than usual. Or in...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 73
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It seemed a shame that the little 10W LED work lights only had two cells when there was seemingly space for four or even six. So I decided to see if I could fit a six cell pack of 18650 cells into an existing light. You can buy Big Clive coffee and cookies at https://www.patreon.com/bigclive The UK ebay listing for the battery pack I used is:- http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/371428606417
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 70
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This is a look inside a generic rechargeable silica gel dehumidifier block designed to absorb the moisture from the air in enclosed spaces like electrical enclosures, cupboards and safes. It's basically a box filled with silica gel desiccant beads and a heater plate so that it can be recharged by plugging it in so the heat drives the moisture back out of the gel. Note that when it's recharging it does liberate a modest quantity of water vapour so it should be done in an area where that is not...
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 29
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In the UK you can buy an effervescent powder which has had various names in the past, including Liver salts and Health salts. The powder dates back to the 1890's when it was sold as a medicinal compound to promote "inner cleanliness", and even now it is sold as a remedy for "symptoms of over-indulgence". In use, a teaspoon of the medicinal powder is put into a glass of water and stirred thoroughly, whereupon it erupts into a fizzy drink. The taste is slightly sweet and...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 101
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Having discovered that Kynar insulation is quite ozone resistant, I decided to do a test by twisting two short lengths of Kynar insulated wire-wrap wire together in a tight helix and connecting them across the output of a high frequency, high voltage cold cathode driver. The result was a purple corona discharge along the entire length of the twisted area, and a strong smell of ozone. It lasted for several minutes, but the insulation succumbed to the high voltage and flashed over. Shame, as it...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 76
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My favourite pen ran dry unexpectedly, and since I can't get another quickly I decided to try refilling it with inkjet ink. I also ordered some new pens from Japan via ebay because the same style of pen is sold there as a "brush pen" for writing Kanji characters. Theirs is much more stylish (cream body with Kanji characters on it) so I decided to give them a try. Initially I thought the whole back of the pen was an ink reservoir (it uses a tank of liquid ink) and was originally hoping...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 22
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This is a quick look at Poundlands finest "Merry Christmas" string of rubbery letters with LEDs shoved into them. It can be used to make many rude words and even combined with the letters from the "Happy Halloween" version to increase the vocabulary. Alternatively you can just use it as a handy set of 14 cold-white side-emitting LED lights.
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 33
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Since my old Fluke meter does not have high sensitivity in the uA tests I decided it was time to get a new meter. The decision was also influenced by an element of doubt about the accuracy of my 25 year old Fluke meter. Initially I was going to go with Fluke again, but after reviewing their models I realised that they do not really offer good value these days, and I'm not really brand-loyal. The Fluke 18B+ was tempting, but only seemed to be available from China which is its intended market....
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 32
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Graham and Cara of the lighting crew, audition as dancers at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Topics: Comedy, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 23
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I looked on ebay for a calibration weight to test my scales for accuracy, and found a set of 5 weights that could be used in multiples to create a wide variety of weights from 5g to 105g. I bought a set expecting them to be a bit random, but when tested on different scales they do seem to be very accurate.
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 25
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I got this on ebay, purely to take to bits. That said, it's actually quite neat and only draws about 1.5W standby power to keep the batteries charged. It contains a switchmode 5V supply and the circuitry required to keep the batteries on what I guess is constant trickle charge. In the event of a power cut the white LED will illuminate for at least three hours. When power is resumed the battery pack will be charged again. The video also has my take on the cheapest and possibly tackiest Chinese...
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 17
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Poundland seem to have rebranded the LED lamps and changed their packaging. I guess the lamps were proving quite popular. They certainly seem to fly off the shelves in all their stores. I bought these rebranded ones to see if anything else had changed.
Topics: People & Blogs, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 20
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A look inside a few different 18650 style USB power banks, including a test of their quiescent current in standby and their upper and lower charge/discharge cutoff points.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
movies
eye 24
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Bitstream is a stainless steel sculpture with a channel of LEDs that random data is continuously scrolled along. The circuitry is based on a PIC microcontroller and serially driven LED driver. Bitstream was created in Glasgow by the renegade engineers.
Topics: Science & Technology, youtube, bigclivedotcom
YouTube Archive
Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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eye 34
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Trying out a black-powder musket at work. A castle being the ideal venue for firing vintage armoury. Filmed for your pleasure in vertical Apple-vision.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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You can now buy me cake and things to take apart at:- https://www.patreon.com/bigclive Tch! Well that dodgy capacitor just refused to die on demand despite the show it put on earlier while the camera wasn't running. But that's OK. We have the technology to force non-compliant electronic products into violent non-compliance for entertainment.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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I made some of these display panels for fun around the year 2000. It's actually quite a neat little circuit with a good visual effect in a small area. The microcontroller is an old PIC16C54 rc-p, which basically means it's not reprogrammable and uses an RC oscillator as it's clock. The initial code would have been tested on an EEPROM based version with a quartz window for UV erasing. It made small software modification quite time consuming as you had to wait several minutes for the chip to be...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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I think it might have been the fact that this was the only version of this air frshener that didn't have a scratch and sniff panel that made me buy it for the excitement of a "mystery smell". It's vile. It doesn't bear any resemblance to any soap I've used. It's more like the smell you get from dollar store "two for a dollar" cans of floral-bouquet air exterminator. The only use for this that I can think of is to use the contents as the adult version of a stink bomb.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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A novel project on bigclive.com which uses a simple neon relaxation oscillator type circuit to pulse a parallel array of neons with a series of spikes, causing them to jitter about randomly.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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A panel of standard neon indicator lamps wired as 9 parallel circuits of six, each circuit is fed from a simple neon relaxation oscillator which fires each row of neons with a stream of very fast pulses. The first neon to strike clamps the voltage down preventing the rest in that line from striking until the capacitor is discharged, and the pulsed nature means that the neons tend to strike randomly and are affected by external factors like light and electrical fields. This results in a very...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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Rupert the highwaycat pillages the pink plastic chariot of kitty treats.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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It's unusual to find NOS (New Old Stock) ionisers, and when I bought this random one on ebay I didn't even know it was new or even what brand it was. It turns out it's an early Dezac Breathe Easy ioniser and the lack of a plug suggests it's pretty old. I was actually quite excited until I opened it, since I don't think I'd seen this particular model of ioniser before. Then that excitement turned to disappointment when I opened it and realised it was an older version of what I regard as one of...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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This is the circuitry inside a cheap USB two cell charger. Before I opened it I tried to guess what circuitry was inside, but it was a lot more complicated than I was expecting. Not helped by the use of a PNP transistor as a current regulator. At first I thought it was a clever design compared to mine, but latterly I think my much simpler version was a lot better. Especially as regards to the possibility of back feeding from the cells into the USB port.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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The massed pipes and drums prepare to march down the drawbridge of Edinburgh Castle on the first Saturday show (daylight). This is what it looks like behind the scenes as they go through the gates. The cloud of smoke is from a fog machine that fills the Castle gate with fog so that the performers emerge through an illuminated haze. The trumpeters coming out a door at the side are coming from the castle ramparts, having played the fanfare at the start of the show. Sorry, I cut this short close...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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I got a few of these little spotlight lamps from an ebay seller some time ago. They were presented as being 3W but while the generic star style LED inside is 3W it is actually driven at around 1.5W. The construction of these is very neat. The driver is in the plastic base with a machined aluminium cup on the front. The LED is simply placed into the cup with some heatsink compound and when the front is screwed on the plastic lens/reflector presses the LED down onto the heatsinking surface. It's...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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A look at the operation and circuitry of a tool or equipment demagnetiser.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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A quick test to see how far the balloons (used in part of the show) would go when overinflated. It stings when they finally blow. TCF = Tattoo Cocktail Fund
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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When the lights on my bench came on one of them started flickering in intensity. Initially I thought it was the driver failing, but it turned out that one of the series arrays of LEDs was flickering on and off. It soon stopped, but is now dead. That means the full 20W of power is now being dissipated by the remaining string of 10 LEDs, so I don't think they're going to last too long. Then I noticed that in the other light where I had used a 50W LED (5 series strings of ten chips in parallel)...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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Some really great new strings of LED lights for Xmas 2015 from Poundland. The most notable feature of these is that they are not gluing the caps on, so it's easy to mix and match as desired. they also fit the existing 20 LED strings of 5mm diameter LEDs being sold in the Halloween range. The purple in particular looks amazing. The crackle caps do look like they are based on a standard 18mm diameter acrylic bead available on ebay in various diameters. I've ordered some mixed colour ones in 16mm...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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A full guide to making your very own electrical deathtrap floral display with dangerously live interchangeable LEDs. This project is completely unsafe, and should not be built by anyone with an ounce of common sense. The circuitry is based on a simple capacitive voltage dropper (hence it's inherent shock hazard) which allows the power supply circuitry to be fitted into a very small area and gives very high efficiency of around just quarter of a watt power consumption. The LEDs are in standard...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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I have to start by saying that these lamps look fantastic. They are manufactured as if they are glass lamps, but use big long filaments made of strings of LEDs mounted on strips. This completely reverses the trend of trying to run small numbers of LEDs at high current with voltage dropping circuitry, and instead works by running large quantities of LEDs at low current. This also makes the drive circuitry much simpler, but does limit their ability to be dimmed. I really enjoyed taking this lamp...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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These things are commonly sold in the UK for taking abroad and using in your hotel room at night to deter the risk of mosquito bites when sleeping. It's quite odd that the Raid one has a square pin plug on it. These devices use vaporiser pads which are basically a piece of cardboard wick soaked in pyrethrins. A chemical derived from or based on a natural chemical that plants like Chrysanthemums use to protect themselves against insects. While the vapour is harmless to humans, it interferes with...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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A 10 ohm quarter watt resistor is wrapped round a smoke match (used for checking air flow). When 12V is applied across the resistor it burns out and ignites the smoke match. (Note the use of a traditional quarter watt, 10 ohm carbon film resistor. These burn better than metal film ones.)
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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I built this a long time ago and have used it so much that I'd actually worn out the connectors by inserting thousands of LEDs into it over time. I originally built the unit to compare LEDs from different manufacturers for beam angle, output pattern and intensity. I was buying LEDs from various suppliers and using the device to choose the best batches for prop-making applications. The unit has two Molex style connectors on the front to accept the leads of LEDs, and a two way switch to choose...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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This video was inspired by the problems with the illuminated props used in the Bollywood act during the 2015 Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The props were made in India and shipped across, so certain elements of their design were a bit suspect. That said, they more or less lasted the full run of the show with some regular tender lovin' care from the military and myself. The single biggest weakness with the LED tape was the way it is manufactured in 500mm sections that are then linked together with...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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A neighbourhood kitty likes to assist in garden tasks.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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You can now buy me cake and things to take apart at:- https://www.patreon.com/bigclive A fairly recent arrival to the novelty cigarette lighter scene is the arc lighter. A lighter that basically uses a high voltage arc to light your cigarette, candle or whatever you wish to light.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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This is actually quite a nice variant on a USB lamp. It's styled on a full size LED lamp with four modestly high power LEDs inside being run at a current that is probably well within their rating for being mounted on a plain PCB. The power output is about 1W with each LED having its own resistor.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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Teardown of a cheapo 3W LED GU10 lamp from ebay.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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I finally got round to doing a proper test and then complete teardown on this light, which looks a bit like a Sharpy, but isn't so we'll call it a Blunty instead. And this is actually one sweet little light. Even with the relatively low power LED it still packs a surprising punch, and would work well in small dark nightclubs. The manual makes a valiant effort in Chinglish, but has some errors. It also refers to the dicroic glass filters as diachronic glass which is most amusing. The light has...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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I made these prototype signs for a local beer company in Glasgow, but they never went ahead. Probably because they didn't want to take the risk of new signage technology and also probably because they were more used to dealing with salesmen in suits than engineers in jeans. Shame really. Their logo was perfect for simple LED signage, and they might have had one of the first persistence of vision (POV) displays in the industry.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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It's very clear that this light is actually based on a housing for a GU10 style holder and lamp. But to keep costs low they have basically fitted a round aluminium core PCB for the LEDs and the usual generic 3W driver in a bit if heatshrink. The amount of waterproofing added to this light was annoying. It made it quite messy to take to bits and rules out any easy maintenance or repair. The housing is not earthed, and has the loose earth wire and crimp lying loose inside. The LEDs are typical...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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I've been trying to make glass bubble tubes with common household items. I got some old T5 fluorescent tubes and dremeled a scratch at each end and snapped them fairly cleanly before cleaning the phosphor coating out by pushing a wad of paper towel through them with a rod. Then I closed one end by heating it carefully with a gas blowtorch (starting slowly to avoid cracking) pulled it to close off the end and then allowed it to cool slowly by giving it a lick of flame from time to time. Then I...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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This is the interior of one of several power distribution points on the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It is fed by a 400A 3-phase 240/415V supply which it then divides down through suitable protection to the final circuits, each of which is protected by an RCD (GFI) for safety. All the units you see in the cabin are designed for touring shows, and when the lids are fitted they turn into flightcases that can be rolled about with modest ease. We protect every single circuit with earth leakage...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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Yet another random purchase of a lighting product for disassembly. This one was actually quite expensive at £65, but that's probably largely due to the size for shipping. It's a high bay light designed for factory and warehouse use, with a standard high power LED array mounted on a heatsink with a lens assembly to direct the light downwards. It has a reflector that could have been reversed to make the shipping somewhat more compact, or even just left off. The light from the LED does not at any...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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I decided I needed a new cone drill and saw some very common sets on ebay in either metric or imperial sizes. I bought a set and tested them on a plastic enclosure to drill a selection of holes for cable glands. I have to say that for plastic they work very well and provide good clean holes. I've not tested them on wood or metal, since I'm more likely to keep these exclusively for drilling plastic cases.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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The addressable LED strings are very popular these days. They basically allow a long string of RGB LEDs to be controlled individually. This is normally achieved by sending the data out as a continuous stream with each LED taking it's chunk of information and then forwarding the data through onto the next LED in line. There are two basic types. Three wire and four wire. The three wire uses a single data line with strict timing requirements while the four wire version uses a clock and data line...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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This fairly common red/blue grow lamp has a rather pleasing array of 126 LEDs arranged as 90 red with a star of 36 blue. Hyped power is 15W. Measured power is 5.5W. Actual power dissipated in LED panel is 5W. Lamp uses a switching buck regulator that puts out 50V at 100mA and does NOT have an isolated output. All solder joints on the front of the PCB should be treated as being at full mains voltage. This doesn't seem like a very good idea for a grow light, as the plants will naturally grow...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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Mountain Breeze ionisers and the rebranded versions of them had one design weakness. The neon power indicator light. It always seemed to be fitted with a series resistor that resulted in a current level that shortened the indicator lamps life dramatically and also cooked the resistor to the point of sudden failure. In the older PCB based ionisers this sometimes resulted in a power track being blown off the back of the board killing the ioniser completely. In this video I show how to fit a new...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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Now that electronic cigarettes have reached the point where you can buy a complete disposable one in pound shops (dollar stores) it's interesting to note that despite being "disposable" they may actually have a rechargeable lithium cell in them due to the sheer mass production of rechargeable cells making them available cheaply in a huge range of sizes. I decided to put this to the test and removed a cell from an e-cig. They don't have any built in protection circuit against...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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This is a technique called cracking the ice where an standard lensed LED has the end of its resin case cracked off with a pair of cable cutters. (snips, side cutters, wire cutters) The resultant cracked ice effect on the end makes the light fragment out in random directions making the LED look a lot brighter from all viewing angles. Note that care must be taken not to crack the resin down to the area of the chip itself or the tiny wire that jumps from the side terminal onto it. Also note that...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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This is what the lone piper sees when he goes up on the castle wall to play his lament at the end of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The voices in the background are other lighting crew on my radio. The loudspeakers are for the piper to monitor what's happening down below and provide slight sound reinforcement from a small microphone.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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This is a lightning arrester from an 11kV power distribution line with an interesting feature to clear itself electrically when sustained current flows through it. Inside a robust fibreglass insulated core is a stack of MOV's (Metal Oxide Varistors) which have a combined voltage to handle the regular peak voltage of the 11kV supply (presumably 15.5kV peak) plus a safety margin. However, when a higher voltage transient occurs on the line the MOV voltage is exceeded and they temporarily develop a...
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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A walk down a country road to a beach. Mainly to try out a head-mounted GoPro. There's another version with Jello-style YouTube stabilisation added here:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcgIQi65LNA
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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I bought this on ebay hoping it was going to be the type that uses a piezoelectric voltage converter to generate the high voltage. Sadly it's not, and worse still, the electronics are all potted in hard resin. On the other hand, it does work and it creates quite a flow of ozonated air out the front of the unit while just drawing a few watts of power.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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Replacing xenon style strobe lamps. These are supposed to have a much longer life than these have had. I think they lasted a few months of light use and a large quantity have packed in already. I was replacing them with older ones salvaged from another set, which have proven much more reliable. Incidentally, this is the city centre square that you see in the film World war Z.
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Feb 14, 2016 bigclivedotcom
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A look inside a fairly common aquarium air pump from ebay. It's actually fairly generic inside, with the only oddity being a lip of some sort of resin or something on the end of the magnet. Not sure if it is for a purpose or a manufacturing blip. The listing I bought this one from is:- http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/311020349853 A search for aquarium pump 1.6L will bring up similar listings.
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